Bag of Combos in cheddar cheese flavorBy Kim Fernandez

Depending on my ultimate destination, I stop at either the Wawa just past Annapolis or the Wawa  just through Easton (about a half-hour past the Bay Bridge) every time I drive through Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The first order of business is topping off the car’s gas tank, and then I park by the side of the store and go inside to wash my hands and grab a bag of Combos. Pizza flavored. Every time. Because they’re my road-trip snack.

If I’m flying, I get to BWI much earlier than necessary, park and shuttle to the terminal, trudge through security, and visit the Hudson News Booksellers in terminal A for a bottle of water and a bag of honey-roasted cashews. Every time. Because they’re my flying snack.

My grocery store carries both pizza-flavored Combos and honey-roasted cashews, but I never–ever–buy them there, nor do we keep them at home. They’re traveling food and I can’t explain why, but having my road and air snacks when I’m heading somewhere several hours away is part of the fun, and picking them up at those specific stops is part of the ritual. Even my taste buds know a trip is afoot. Got my Combos, got my music, got somewhere to be.

I’ve picked up Combos twice since late May and have a date with honey-roasted cashews this fall, and honestly, that feels wonderful. There are other cars around me on the road and plenty of people to watch at the airport, and as much as traffic jams and gas prices and security lines stink, having them back in our lives is a breath of refreshed air. Onward!

I wish you a happy return to the road and the air and hope to see you out there soon. Don’t forget the snacks.

Kim Fernandez is IPMI’s director of publications.